JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (January 13, 2003) - Freshman point guard Adrienne Walker (Augusta, Ga.) poured in a career-high 16 points, including six-of-six shooting from the free throw line down the stretch to secure an 82-74 victory over Southern Conference opponent Western Carolina Monday evening at Memorial Center.
Walker's sixteen points led all scorers as East Tennessee State (4-10, 1-4 SoCon) snapped a four-game losing streak, including three straight losses on the road. Head coach Karen Kemp was pleased to return to the "mini-dome" as the Buccaneers are just 1-8 on the road this season as opposed to 3-1 at home.
"It feels good to get that first conference win," Kemp said after the game. "Life on the road is tough, and we hope to make it that way for our opponents when they play us here."
Western Carolina (10-4, 3-2 SoCon) jumped out to an early lead, before a lay up by senior forward Misty Copas (Kingsport, Tenn.) gave the Lady Bucs their first lead of the contest just over two minutes into the game. ETSU, which shot over 57 percent from the floor in the first stanza, enjoyed a 12-point lead at one point in the first half before taking a 43-37 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
The Catamounts cut the ETSU lead back to one on a three-point basket by sophomore guard Melissa Ervin (Bristol, Tenn.), but that was the closest Western Carolina would get.
Besides Walker's breakthrough effort, the Lady Bucs got 14 points off the bench from junior forward Jessica Lonon (Sylvania, Ga.), while Copas netted 13 points. Junior guard Kiya Verdell (Hartwell, Ga.) grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds to go along with her eight points, three blocked shots and three steals.
Western Carolina forward Jennifer Gardner (Norcross, Ga.) tallied a double-double with 15 points and 14 rebounds. The Catamounts boasted three other players scoring in double figures. Juniors Yoneko Allen (Gray Court, S.C.) and Tiffany Hamm (Harlan, Ky.) each scored 15 points, followed by sophomore Melissa Ervin (Bristol, Tenn.), who netted 10.
East Tennessee State remains at home for a 1 p.m. game on Saturday, Jan. 18 versus College of Charleston.